USGS Needs More Data to Assess Water Impacts Around Gas Development

Mar 3, 2015

Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey says more data and research are necessary to best understand the potential risks to water quality in areas with unconventional oil and gas development.

After searching through water data that’s been collected between 1970-2010, USGS scientists are saying they have only been able to access long term trends in 16 percent of watersheds where unconventional gas development exists.

 The USGS explained in a press release, there’s no national water-quality monitoring program in place that focuses on oil and gas development. The organization's recent study of existing water data found no widespread and consistent trends in water quality in areas where unconventional oil and gas wells are prevalent. “Comprehensive, published and publicly available information regarding the extent, location and character of hydraulic fracturing and potential effects on regional or national water quality in the United States is scarce,” the release said.